I might be the worst expectant mom ever. (I did pre-name the baby Skullface, after all.)
Okay, maybe not the worst – I’m not on crack or in a fight club or anything. But there’s one big sign that I feel like indicates I’m a bad mom-to-be.
I don’t want to tell people.
I could justify that by saying, “Oh, I’m an introvert, I’m just so uncomfortable with even the mildest, most flattering forms of attention.” But that would not even be half true. I can handle a gracious “congratulations” without needing a Xanax.
I think it’s partly because “congratulations” is wholly the wrong response, culturally mandated as it may be. Whatever Olympic-level decathlon went down inside my uterus, it happened entirely without my assistance. You could congratulate my mammalian reproductive system, but I doubt that would feel better for either of us.
Or, if the “congratulations” is for having carried a fetus for 17 weeks, then maybe wait until its born and then see if I deserve congratulations. Then again, by that logic, even after the baby is born you could congratulate me for each day I manage to keep it alive. But is not killing your baby something to be especially proud of?
All in all I think a better response than “congratulations” is “godspeed.”
But that’s not the whole reason I don’t want to tell people.
I think what I’m feeling is that our culture – at least in the South where I live – tends to layer on far more spiritual meaning to pregnancy than is appropriate. People are supposed to say, “Oh what a blessing!” and I’m supposed to say, “yes, I am so blessed.”
But I was not singled out by God to conceive, much less to conceive naturally and quickly, without the hardship and anxiety that so many women experience. If I were to believe that God chose me for motherhood (me, who named the baby Skullface) while consciously denying it to other women, I’d have to believe that God is a maniac.
Some people get pregnant and some don’t. Some pregnancies make it and some don’t. Some children live and some don’t. It’s not because God hand-picks blessings for some and tragedies for others. It’s because Creation is unpredictable.
What lies ahead for my pregnancy and my child remains to be seen. For now, I’m fortunate and privileged and grateful – but I’m not “blessed among women.”
I’m pregnant – that’s my life right now. But it’s not special.
It’s special to me, of course, and I appreciate that I have loved ones who consider it special to them, too. And I’m grateful that I can share my feelings on this blog, with only the people who are interested or can relate. But as for everyone else, it’s just my life, and I don’t want to talk about it. I suppose I’d rather ponder these things in my heart.